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Masterful Use of Color To Create the Illusion of Illumination in Drawings

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Embracing the modern media landscape, Angel Ganev has a healthy collection of YouTube videos that have garnered tens of thousands of views where he shows how he works using reference and builds his signature style. Much of Ganev’s work is comprised of portraits where he has taken a reference photo, processed the subject of the photo through his imagination and reproduced them as a stylized character. The most interesting aspect of Ganev’s work is how he accents the stylized characters that he creates. His subjects are adequately drawn, manga inspired depictions of women. Some of these are fully digitally painted, colored portraits of the women. Others however are left largely uncolored and then treated with minimal, localized color where Ganev shows off his enviable skills with color. By using super bright hues on the faces of the women he draws, Ganev is able to give the viewer the illusion that the piece is actually being illuminated. These particular works are typically presented with the artist’s pencil strewn across the body of the frame, a kind of mic drop for the effects he can create by hand. One of the sketches, where a woman is looking off while she holds a glowing red apple, is sure to make your jaw drop. The apple emanates on and from the woman’s hand and illuminates her cheek as she glances at something off to the side. It’s surreal in the way that it seems to construct reality in the piece, like it has been charmed by a magical spell. Ganev’s portfolio is strewn with pieces featuring such detail as the glowing apple and the effect never loses its effect on the viewer. Go on, be charmed, fall under the spell of Angel Ganev.


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